Best Christmas Fruitcake


Christmas fruitcake may get a bad rap, but this moist, rum-soaked cake full of dried fruits and pecans is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. There's no glowing, candied fruit in this cake, and this version is less dense and more cake-like than typical fruitcake recipes. For best results, let the fruitcake age for at least 10 weeks (or longer!) before serving, although some reviewers have eaten it right away and loved it. It's delicious by itself, or covered with a thin layer of almond paste.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
1 day 10 mins
Total Time:
1 day 1 hrs 25 mins
1 6-inch fruitcake

Christmas fruitcake is a divisive holiday treat — but this crowd-pleasing recipe will impress everyone at your table! Soaked in rum and aged for weeks, this Christmas fruitcake recipe is full of festive flavor.

What Is Fruitcake?

Fruitcake is a bread-like cake made with candied or dried fruits, nuts, and spices. The fruit and the cake itself are traditionally soaked in liquor. The sweet treat is usually served (and also gifted) during the holidays. Since it's doused in liquor, Christmas fruitcake lasts for months.

How to Make Christmas Fruitcake

Though making fruitcake isn't hard, it is a bit of a process. You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this old-fashioned Christmas fruitcake.

1. Make the batter: Soak the fruit in rum for at least one day. Beat the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in batches, alternating with molasses. Stir in the nuts and soaked fruit.
2. Bake the cake: Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
3. Soak the cake: Drizzle rum over the still-warm cake. Brush the cake with rum. Moisten a cheesecloth with rum, then wrap it around the cake with parchment paper.
4. Age the cake: Transfer the wrapped Christmas fruitcake to an airtight container. Age for at least 10 weeks.

How to Store Christmas Fruitcake

Store the fruitcake in the airtight container at room temperature, preferably in a dark place, for at least 10 weeks. If you plan to age the fruitcake for longer, you'll need to brush the cake again.

A good rule of thumb: Douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.

Can You Freeze Fruitcake?

Yes, you can freeze Christmas fruitcake. Wrap the cake tightly in one layer of storage wrap, then one layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to one year. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Although a bit of work, this recipe is well worth it," according to banjognome. "It made a very tasty fruitcake that had many requests for the recipe. The only thing I did differently was, about halfway through the baking time, I gently decorated the top with whole pecans, and [candied] cherries."

"Delicious," says Allrecipes Allstar Christina. "My first attempt at making fruitcake and it was a hit w/ everyone. I used a mix of raisins, figs, candied cherries, cranberries, and dried pineapple. Mine only got to sit for about 1 week, but it was still yummy!"

"Absolutely fantastic," raves Wulfae. "I made about twenty of these last year to give out as gifts, and they were really well received. I had my sister text me recently saying she just found it in the freezer and it was delicious. My grandma wants me to make three for her next Christmas."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Soaked Fruit:

  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

  • ¼ cup dried currants

  • cup chopped dried cherries

  • cup chopped dried mango

  • cup chopped candied citron

  • ¼ cup dark rum


  • cooking spray

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ cup unsulfured molasses

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

  • 6 tablespoons dark rum, or more as needed


  1. Soak the fruit: Place cranberries, currants, cherries, mango, and citron into a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour in rum and mix again. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

  2. When ready to make the fruitcake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Cut a 6-inch circle of parchment paper. Spray a 6x3-inch round pan with cooking spray. Place the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan, and spray it with cooking spray.

  3. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg until incorporated.

  4. Whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with molasses, beating batter briefly after each addition.

  5. Stir in soaked fruit and pecans. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

  7. While the fruitcake is baking, cut one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake.

  8. Remove fruitcake from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then drizzle 2 tablespoons rum over top.

  9. Moisten the cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Place it on top of the parchment paper, and unmold fruitcake onto it. Brush the top and sides of fruitcake with remaining 3 tablespoons rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with the parchment paper.

  10. Transfer the wrapped fruitcake to airtight container or tin. Seal the container and let age at room temperature for at least 10 weeks before serving.

    a top down view of a whole Christmas fruitcake studded with dried fruits.
    Natalia Titanov

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

302 Calories
15g Fat
33g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 302
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 203mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 244mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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